Scientific Name: Onobrychis viciifolia (Fabaceae). The name means something like 'vetch leaf that makes donkeys bray ' (with excitement, as they love to eat it).
English Name: Sainfoin (Pea family).
French Name: Le Sainfoin cultivé (='cultivated sound/healthy hay'); l'Esparcette cultivée (='scattered about cultivated'); l'Esparcette de feuilles de vesce (='scattered vetch leaves').
5 Key Characters:
- papery stipules (the bracts at the base of the leaf stalks).
- conical spikes of salmon pink flowers with red veins.
- 20 - 40 cm high.
- leaflets in 6 - 12 pairs.
- flower stalks longer than leaves.
Habitat: Roadsides and calcareous grassland.
Flowering Period: June-July-August.
Status: Once cultivated for fodder. Locally common.
Photographed by Loire Valley Nature: